Freedom From The Mundane - A Writer's Blog

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

January GDR Wrap-Up

I just realised I think I may suffer from End-Of-The-Creative-Month Blues. Everything is wrapped up for another month, all my projects tidied in my head and shifted back into little boxes in my brain, and I feel a bit low because of it. Planning out a new monthly GDR brings me back into charged-up mode, but in between, I’m on a low.

So without wasting any time, here’s my January final GDR position.

* Begin in-depth notes for researching/writing second draft of Slick - have begun taking notes but stayed away from this for the month. I felt this was needed to be able to approach with fresh eyes, but also to enable me to clear the plate somewhat with a lot of my other work.
* Work on synopsis and format of children's book - Still in progress, but took a back seat a bit.
* Work on ideas for new novel to begin writing in February - needs bags of research but won't be starting Feb. Keep till March/April. I want to finish Slick first and do more research. Got an idea for another novel that could begin earlier while doing other research.
* Keep on top of submissions list - done. Re-editing six targeted short stories for re-submission to new markets.
* Follow up on three outstanding Stella submissions and look at possible new markets – redrafted Stella and prepared a new query letter and synopsis. Submitted to several publishers.

* Complete Poolside Poetry for possible Feb 07 release – done. Font, front and back cover designs decided on. Release date set for March 2nd. Pre-ordering available and websites updated.
* Write more poetry (new themes for the PSH Free-for-all) – no new poetry.
* Issue Press Release for River Monkeys in Pocketful of Fun anthology – Written. Targets specified and sent out.

* Complete re-write on Scotland’s Treasure for January column after storms cancelled event – done.
* Contact Scottish poet for re-arranged interview – Successful interview on 22nd Jan.
* Begin design for independent freelance website – complete. Next step to promote and query.
* Tidy up all the Press Release handling on the websites (to pdf’s, press kit’s etc.) – PR’s done. Press Kit done. Needs loaded to website.
* Write SDR articles, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th January – all done. Feb 6th, 13th, 20th planned/written.
* Make list of all initial markets to focus on – done (Step-parenting, websites, internet and PC’s for beginners).

* Buy some new plectrums – done
* Buy a guitar book – Got two. A basic one and an in-depth one, both with CD’s to accompany lessons.
* Buy new strings – done
* Start learning guitar – done. Learning chords A, D, E, G, C and tunes with them in.
* Start the design for rabbit run – taken measurements, decided on stand-alone cage.

Marketing and Promotion
* Prepare press release for Poolside Poetry for when it goes live
– ready to go, will enhance nearer the time.
* Complete cross-promotion with Fife B&B for Fringe Fantastic – not done. MUST be done in Feb. so set up for the summer and August
* Approach hotel chain with view to stocking FF – chain possibly being sold. Might be a non-starter. Hold off on this.
* Keep website up to date – blog done. Main site revamp planned – ideas under selection. Pre-book facility in place prior to Sunday Herald article.
* Re-analyse promotion of FF and PP – in progress. Planning to contact the Fringe directly very shortly.

Reading and Research
* Finish reading Billy by Pamela Stephenson – complete
* Finish reading Flesh and Blood by John Harvey novel – IP
* Read Watchman by Ian Rankin – IP

Other Projects
* Stay on top of editorial work for TSDR
– done. Winter issue published. Now planning April issue.

Things That Turned Up
* Sent copy of Fringe Fantastic to Jonathon Ross after hearing he wants to read more books on his 13th Jan show.
* Interview with the Sunday Herald and photograph shoot – published on Jan 28th.
* Emergency website fix for previous web customer.

Submissions Made
Novella – Stella now submitted to several publishers
Poem – Love is submitted to Circadian Poems. Accepted for Valentine’s Day issue, 14/2/07
Poem – Scotland Neglected submitted to Circadian Poems. Accepted for St.Patrick’s Day issue, 16/3/07
Story – A Bond of Faith to Glimmer Train

* Interview with Sunday Herald has generated some interest. The whole thing was an excellent experience.
* Interview I conducted with Anita Govan was equally as interesting but also helped me to polish my interview and networking skills.
* Breaking down monthly GDR's to a daily to-do list has helped organise, motivate and get through more work.
* 2 poems accepted.
* Blog overhauled.

* Heart of a Child rejected by Barcelona Review (assumed since never heard back)
* A bond of Faith rejected by Portable Muse (assumed since never heard back) – since rewritten
* Daffodils rejected by 3am (assumed since never heard back)
* Daffodils rejected by ThugLit (assumed since never heard back)
* Two articles rejected by Interactive Dad (assumed since never heard back)
* Had an email filter problem a few months ago which could account for these non-responses, so changed the settings. Have put some of the stories through the re-write process anyway.

Fiction – 0
Non-Fiction – 21,300
Poetry – 0

Outstanding Submissions
Pulp 1
Glimmer Train 1
Crimespree Magazine 1
Wildchild 1
Ephemera 1

Stella 4
Hunting Jack 4

Monthly Health Summary

How did I move outside my comfort zone this month?
Meeting with the Scottish poet, Anita Govan, was excellent. It got me talking to someone who is very persuasive and motivated by performing poetry. I committed myself to attending a performance though I was told to “get up there and do it.” This also helped me flex my interview skills once more and I did feel more comfortable allowing the conversation to flow versus listing loads of questions.

Getting contacted by the Sunday Herald and doing the photo shoot, both of which were very much outwith my comfort zone. I feel I am getting more comfortable doing it, having done interviews in the past and talking to high profile people. It pushed me into thinking about how I approach these things and put myself across confidently. I can use this experience when it comes to promoting myself directly.

Did I challenge myself?
I made the commitment to setup in freelance and try to get more work through this channel. I put the groundwork now in place so I can now start querying more confidently.

I’ve made myself start to think about my image in the wake of the Sunday Herald interview. Sounds a bit egotistical but rather this is a reverse decision in that I intend not to bother about it any longer.

Was it the right thing to do?
Freelance? Yes, if I want to progress, make money and experience more things.

Image? Of course. Why worry about it?

Did I favour the challenge over the easy approach?
Yes. It would be easier not to have done anything and cut off the freelance route altogether. I can make money through this channel so why not? A writer has to eat.

Committing myself to at least getting down to a performance poetry reading is a big step because I know it will lead to me performing. It’s all about confidence, and I won’t get more of this by sitting at home not promoting my work.

What did I do to minimise costs?
Putting PP for sale direct from the publishers instead of buying bulk this time.

What did I do to maximise output?
Dropped the cover price for Poolside Poetry.
Got the websites revamped and able to take pre-orders prior to the Sunday Herald interview being published.
I’ve been more vocal about being a writer, about my intentions, and about the work I have accomplished to date. I have nothing to be ashamed or bashful about.

What did I do to maximise visibility?
I’ve become more vocal and not been so modest. I have written three novels (one published in serial form), a novella, two e-books and two paperback books of poetry.

How did I think big?
Strategic planning for freelance work.
New marketing strategy for Poolside Poetry.
New marketing and promotional ideas for Fringe Fantastic.

is out on
MARCH 2nd 2007

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Colin 7:42 am


You had a great month.BARCELONA REVIEW sometimes takes longer than the guidelines state -- they tend to get backed up.

Don't give up on them yet!

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